Getting Away With Murder

As an empath, I believe in second chances. Life can be difficult at times and can cause people to act out of character.

No one is perfect.

I always try to find the good in people. This is why I believe in second and even third chances.

Encouraging someone to pursue growth and even helping them along the way is a privilege.

However, there is a downside.

When people are given second and third chances, do they really learn the lesson?

If you regularly forgive someone after crossing a boundary with you, you’re reinforcing that there are no consequences if they disrespect you. If they get away with murder, they’ll do it again.

With that being said, I do believe people can change and reform is possible. However, it’s human nature to take as much as you can get. The dilemma lies between forgiving someone or respecting yourself enough to walk away.

Do you find it easy to forgive people? Do you believe in second chances?

As always, looking forward to what you all have to say on this topic. It’s been on my mind for a while.

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Link to E.L. Jayne’s poetry blog here.


31 thoughts on “Getting Away With Murder

  1. EL, I think you must be a very kind person. People are all-flavours though, and not always that kind, some even feel the need to be predatory for whatever reasons.Second and third chances with someone like that just seems to affirm their behavior. The idea of self-reformation seems to go along with self-reflection, and someone with a low self-opinion is going to avoid that like the plague, as it’s too painful. Why bother anyway? They’ll just get another chance. I’ve had too many friends stay in abusive relationships, really bad ones sometimes, and they are just stuck in this never-ending loop of ‘potentiality: ‘oh, he apologized, he won’t do it again, he’s really sorry!’
    And that was a friend who ended up partially blinded from the beatings she’d gotten. She eventually disappeared, either dead or just tired of me urging her to drop him; I’ll never know. So, second and third chances can go a number of directions in a stress situation too, I guess. Hoo-wee! I guess I have strong feelings about second chances, eh? 🙂 Yes. Yes, I do. I figure it’s worth a try, but after a failed chance it becomes trying. Not an anomaly, but a lifestyle perhaps. I think you can forgive someone without having to get sucked up into their dramas.

    1. Wow, those are some really deep thoughts and also true. The real question is whether that person wish reformation or not. We can be kind enough to forgive someone and that does nothing for the other person, except that he uses it further to manipulate and abuse.

      1. Saliha, I think that’s the crux of the matter for me. As an empath I forgive easily as I understand life can be difficult. I want to see the good in others and believe they can change, and believe they are sorry when they say it. Unfortunately, that makes me an easy target to be manipulated. However, the right people won’t manipulate you, but it’s hard to open your eyes and draw the line when you are being taken advantage of for me. Setting boundaries is something I struggle with and hoping to work on this for my future relationship.

    2. Kjenson, I think that’s a great connection between self-reflection and self-reformation. If someone is the type to reflect and take steps to become better, then I’m all for second chances. Either way, I do believe forgiveness is more so for yourself than the other person. You can forgive someone and still understand that things will be different than before. For me, I’m finding forgiveness when it comes to matters of the heart a bit more difficult. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. I am an Empath as well, and second chances can be given. But there comes a point where you can forgive and not put yourself in that position again. I’m in that spot right now. Chance after chance after chance-some people just don’t change and they won’t. They take advantage of people like us and we have to choose to put a stop to it. Reform only comes from looking inside of yourself and being open to seeing your flaws. People who want so many chances aren’t willing to do that, and you really are wasting your time at that point. All you can do for them is pray and leave it between them and God.

    1. Hi mammasquirrel, you hit the nail on the head. For me, it’s hard to know when to draw the line. At what point do you realize that there hasn’t been enough reformation that it’s time to close the chapter and move on? Being an eternal optimist I’ve found myself waiting for something that was never going to happen many times…

  3. 70 X 7 tempered with sensible discretion of the offender’s regretful acknowledgement, repentance and unconditional willingness to make amends if possible.

    1. Acknowledgement and understanding is key. If they apologize just to apologize without actually understanding why it hurt you then it’s useless. Also without a plan of action they are to take to make amends, it’s really not going anywhere. I think I’ve found myself on the other side of ingenuine apologizes too many times.

  4. I believe in forgiveness. I don’t do it though. I put the offence in a corner of my mind and mostly forget about it. As a result I have plenty of things to grind my teeth about in an idle moment. As for second chances…yes if I love you. No if I don’t.

    1. Seems like you have a great approach there. I believe in forgiveness as well, mostly for the benefit of my mental health, but I think I need to be better at putting up those boundaries again once trust has been broken. I can forgive you, but it’s not going back to how it was. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That’s really a difficult choice to make. Sometimes forgiveness is easy but not forgetting. If the person really have that goodness in his heart and truly regrets what he did then forgiveness is an option. But most of the time, We end up hurting more by giving second chances.

    1. I think I’m done with second chances at this point in my life. I’ll forgive you for the sake of my mental health, but I’m not getting stuck as the passenger of a vehicle with no motor. See ya buster! Lol

  6. What a fascinating post! And such an interesting juxtaposition that you’ve introduced with forgiveness versus second chances. I think forgiveness is a must – for our own hearts sake. And it’s easier done, as you’ve said well, when you understand where the behavior is coming from.

    But that’s a different issue than 2nd or 3rd chances – if a boundary is being crossed, change has to happen in the relationship. As Prentice Hemphill said so well, “ Boundaries are the closest distance that I can love both you and myself.”

    1. Wynne, although I understand the difference between forgiveness and second chances, they have always gone hand in hand for me. Your point about boundaries really resonates with me. I am not good at this and it has affected my relationships. I agree that forgiveness is a benefit for my own mental health, but that doesn’t mean they deserve a second chance. Something I will work on putting into practice. Thank you for sharing 🙂 <3E

  7. I think that by forgiving people you do an act of kindness also to yourself. By forgiving you let go of your anger, or humiliation, or whatever feeling was caused by the other. However, as Winnie said, your relationship may or has to change. I have a memory like and elephant, meaning that I do forgive but I don’t forget (it is interesting to see how these verbs are composed: for-give and for-get).

    1. I agree about the forgiveness. Unfortunately, that always came hand in hand with second chances for me. I am reflecting now that I need to be better with setting boundaries with others. To forgive for my mental health, but also to not forget for my own future mental health. Thank you for sharing 🙂 <3E

  8. Grerta post and great comments – I think we need to forgive but that does not mean we condone or accept the poor bahvaiour. Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves to be able to move on. Thank you!

    1. I agree! I forgive for myself but I need to be better at setting up boundaries as to discourage the poor behavior. Otherwise, a manipulative person will go right back to how things were. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. I believe it depends on the situation. If the person is truly honest, truly repentant, and the incident is not repeated again, then yes, they can be forgiven.
    However, sometimes it might be too late to condone someone after forgiving them, if they repeat the error. So I believe in immediate punishment, especially for extreme cases such as murder. It is better to prevent the death of a hundred people than to try to knock sense into a sinner who may or may not improve.
    One of the few situations in which forgiveness is acceptable is if the wrong committed affects only one person, i.e. Yourself.

  10. I believe in second chances to certain degree. Depending on their deed I guess. I usually forgive them, but I do not forget their mistakes. I tend to doubt they wouldn’t do the same thing twice

  11. It is possible to forgive, mostly to maintain your own peace. You can also choose to change the nature of the relationship or leave the relationship altogether; they are not mutually exclusive choices.

    A few years ago, a friend, now referred to as a fr-enemy, said many unkind, and untrue, things to me in a drunken rant. I felf humilatied by someone I thought of as a good friend. I felt awful about myself for months as I was also in a very dark time, post-divorce. I kept this to myself for a long time but when I shared it with a trusted friend she said she had a similar experience and the fr-enemy was merely projecting her bad feelings about herself on to others.

    As time wore on, the fr-enemy attempted to apologize saying, “I’m sorry but…” and attempting to launch into a long explanation. I stopped her and said, “‘I’m sorry’ is a complete sentence, thank you.” While I kept a distant acquaintance with her, the relationship was forever changed by her cruelty.

    I sometimes miss my friend but the distance has allowed me to be more objective about who she really is, and who I am.

    Thank you for reading and for writing this provocative piece.

  12. 2nd chances should be common in our lives… none of us are perfect. The real question is 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th chances, what do we do with these people? What is the severity of the infraction? Are we talking about rolling through a stop sign or accepting a senior citizen discount, when you are two years away? I think certain violations are not forgivable, like premeditated murder. Between these listed extremes and if those people should be forgiven, it what makes us all different. Each of us has our own tolerance levels, stemming from YOUR own life’s experiences…

  13. I think we forgive for ourselves. Otherwise we’re hurting ourselves each time we bring up the offense to others, or only in our memories. The offender could be dead, so why should they care? Some people carry around wounds from childhood and they’re on their deathbed. That’s entirely too long.

    Now forgiveness isn’t about being a doormat, to get abused over and over again. You don’t have to keep people in your life who are toxic and clearly harmful. Once again you forgive for your own healing, to move past a hurtful event. But if the person is still alive and wants to be in your life, then trust might need to be repaired, on their end.

    I have had both kinds of hurts in my life, where the person was clearly not right and very harmful. I have forgiven that person, I don’t hate them. Actually I don’t really feel much of anything toward them. And they are no longer in my life.

    The other kind of hurt is from family members. I put boundaries up, I forgive them, and I pass over what they say or do that hurts at times. And they apologize for the offenses, and vice versa. Because none of us is perfect.

  14. Oh boy! Does this ever hit hard! I gave my ex husband the benefit of the doubt way too many times because I kept hoping and wishing that “this time would be different.” It cost me a lot of heartache and I’m slowly taking baby steps. There is so much to say on this really.

  15. It seems possible to Always forgive, yet make adjustments in our boundaries. That way we are able to decide (and re-decide) where to set limits, but still able to forgive those who occasionally (or consistently) commit violations. We must not set a fixed limit for all people, right?

  16. I forgive everyone who hurts me because it brings me peace. That doesn’t mean I will leave myself open to endless future incidents. With those I love, I know and understand the underlying causes of their behavior. It is especially important to maintain boundaries with loved ones, and it is never easy. Take care EL.

    1. Setting boundaries with loved ones is something I have struggled with, because up until recently I believed love is unconditional. With family, it still kind of is to me, but with romantic relationships at my age I feel like it’s a bit phantasmal to only give and accept unconditional love. That’s been hard for me to accept because I try not to just let one unfortunate ending taint my view on life, but I guess that’s the reality of life and maturing, is it not? If I might follow-up, how do you set boundaries with loved ones?

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